If you’re plotting something dodgy in Mexico City, wait until the World Cup, when everyone, including the police, has their mind on the footy. So, this crime epic unfolds over 12 years, three successive tournaments and two kidnappings, as it follows an idealistic young cop. The more good he tries to do, the more he becomes mired in the corruption of the police force. And the abiding picture here is one of amoral brutality, where individual honour seems pointless against ingrained greed.
The dizzying narrative pings hither and thither, with first-time director Gout confidently deploying different screen ratios and film stocks to remind the audience where they are in the timeline. All of which is overfamiliar from ‘Elite Squad’ and ‘City of God’, and the characters are slightly bland. Still, Gout’s ambition pays off in a climactic flourish. And the assault-and-battery of camera tricks captures Mexico’s head-spinning everyday madness.